Vagabond in America 2016 travel blog

Moab traffic jam

My son and daughter-in-law meet Pooka

Heading off into the desert

Pando, 80,000 year old tree

Capitol Reef National Park

Arches National Park

My daughter-in-law underneath Delicate Arch

Ute Rock Art in Arches NP

Hiking on "Primitive Trail"

My son has decided that it’s easier to vacation in his dad’s RV than in a hotel. For example, last year, he talked me into staying at Disney World in Florida. This year, I told him that I would be wintering in or near Arizona. He asked if I could make a stop along the way in Moab, Utah. It is one of the top-rated places in the world for mountain biking. Since this was directly along my planned route west, I agreed.

My son, his wife and one of his college buddies flew to Denver, Colorado, and rented an SUV. We drove my truck, my RV, and their rented SUV up and over the Continental Divide. Since it was getting late, we stopped in Grand Junction, Colorado, for the night. In the morning, my son and his friend left early in the morning, in the SUV heading for Moab. His wife and I took a leisurely journey taking our time enjoying the fantastic scenery. By the time we reached Moab and setup camp, my son and his friend were just finishing up their day of riding some of the mountain bike trails.

The next day, the four of us drove both my truck and their rental out into the desert. We dropped off their SUV at the planned end-point then dropped off my son and his friend at their starting point. As they worked themselves along the trail, his wife and I headed further west. Our first destination was Pando, nicknamed “The Trembling Giant”. Although it looks like a grove of many acres of separate trees, it is actually one enormous interconnected plant. At an estimated 80,000 years old, Pando is among the oldest known living organisms in the world. Since my daughter-in-law is an evolutionary biologist, this was a “must see” attraction for her. We then visited Capitol Reef National Park.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, my son’s friend took a bad fall on his bike injuring his wrist. Over the cell phone, I told them where to find an ace bandage and a sling in my RV. (I still had these items after my bad fall on the Bike Park last summer.) That put a premature end to his mountain biking for this trip.

The next day, the four of us visited Arches National Park, one of my favorite Parks in the world. We visited all of the main tourist attractions and hiked almost all of the hiking trails. The sights were awe inspiring! Even more so for my son’s wife and his friend, since they had never been out West before.

The next day, my daughter-in-law and I tried out one of the easier mountain biking trails. After only a few miles of riding, I decided that the likelihood of my joining his friend on the injured list was too high and opted out of riding further. His wife took even less convincing. She quit before she was even out of sight of the truck.

On our last full day, we took my truck deep into the desert on a very rough four-wheel drive trail. When the trail became too primitive for me to risk my truck, we dropped off my son and his wife. He rode a rental bike; she rode my fat-tire eBike. They drove off into the distance along the dirt road many miles from any sign of civilization. His injured friend and I drove to the planned pickup spot deep in the desert and waited. We waited and waited. No sign of them. Becoming concerned, I turned on my InReach to see if there had been a message. Sure enough, they had decided to take a different route and eventually reached a location where their cell phones worked. He had sent me a message explaining where they were now. We turned around the truck and drove to this new meeting location.

After that final adventure, I bid farewell to them as they drove back to Denver to fly home. I relaxed and did as little as possible. They had worn me out!

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